JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO - Jefferson County sheriff`s deputies are taking a different approach to try and build better relationships with the citizens who they serve.
They are hitting the streets in Jefferson County neighborhoods on bicycles instead of patrol cars.
Deputies Adam Lambrich and Tony Ochoa are the bike patrol with the Jefferson County Sheriff`s Department.
The deputies are biking through neighborhoods two or three times during the week and on Saturdays.
The goal to bridge the gap between police and the public.
“When we`re on a bike and we actually stop by these people`s houses and talk to them they feel more receptive to us. They talk more about what`s going on in their area they live in,” explained Ochoa.
“We go out, we focus on different subdivisions that are having issues, problem areas whether it`s traffic or it`s a neighbor or a dispute between things, we`ll come out and we`ll actually spend time, we can take our time and spend time in that subdivision,” said Lambrich.
We met the deputies in the Parkton subdivision in Barnhart.
The warm afternoon didn`t stop the two from biking up and down streets and interacting with residents.
Residents we spoke with didn`t know about the bike patrol.
They were pleasantly surprised to see them in their neighborhood and talk with them directly.
“I think it`s great. I think hopefully it will help like with some of the speeding cars and everything that are going through here,” said resident Gail Easton.
Resident Mike Miodunski added, “It gives them much more accessibility to the people and more mobility and just more interaction in general.”
The deputies hope that information they learn from residents can help them solve problems and head off crime before anything happens.
Their message to residents is simple, “We really want to get to know you, get to know your neighbors, and get to know the subdivision so we can better assist you,” said Lambrich.
The deputies say they went through four days of training with St. Louis city police bike cops to get ready for their positions.
They maintain all of their normal police powers when they are on the bikes.